Child Poverty Widespread in America's Largest Cities

by Dr. Trupti Shirole on Dec 2 2014 5:36 PM

 Child Poverty Widespread in America
Child poverty still remains widespread in America’s largest cities. The child poverty rate for all U.S. large cities- defined as the 71 cities with a total population of 250,000 or higher in 2007- is 30.6 percent which is substantially higher than the pre-recession rate in 2007 of 26.4 percent.
The national child poverty rate fell by two percentage points from 2012 to 2013. However, the big-city rate declined by only one percentage point. The research paper claims that nearly three children in five living in Detroit are poor. Most children in Cleveland and Buffalo also live in poverty, so do nearly half the children in Fresno, Cincinnati and Memphis. Other large cities that top the list for child poverty are Newark, Miami, St. Louis and Milwaukee.

Several factors contribute to the growth in child poverty in a given city, but some things are common among the group of cities. Older industrial cities, like Detroit and Cleveland, suffered a sharp contraction of their manufacturing industries and related job losses in the course of the Great Recession. Others, like Las Vegas and a number of cities in California and Florida, were hit by the collapse of local housing markets and contraction of the construction industry.

The paper was released by the National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP), a research center based at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health.

“Many Americans, even policymakers, seem unaware of the shocking prevalence of child poverty in many of our nation's most important and iconic cities. Reducing child poverty is critical to the social and economic health of cities, now and in the future", said Curtis Skinner, PhD, director of Family Economic Security at NCCP.